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Low oil prices are hitting the UK where it hurts: the North Sea

The BriefYour world right now

34 mins ago

Apple’s patent troll strikes again.

  One day after a jury in Tyler, Texas, ordered Apple to pay Smartflash $533 million for using its patents without permission, Smartflash sued Apple again. This time it wants damages based on sales of Apple’s newer devices. Apple was also hit with a fresh patent infringement suit from Swedish telecom giant Ericsson.
33 mins ago

Alibaba’s payment arm is preparing for an IPO.

  Ant Financial, controlled by Alibaba executives but separate from the Chinese e-commerce giant, could go public in mainland China as early as 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). The company, which owns Alibaba’s massive e-payment service Alipay, is currently worth “tens of billions of dollars.”
3 hours ago

An atheist blogger is hacked to death in Bangladesh.

  Avijit Roy, an American of Bangladeshi origin who wrote about liberal secularism, was attacked by men with machetes who also seriously injured his wife. Roy is the second atheist blogger to be killed in Bangladesh in the past two years.  
6 hours ago

Coca-Cola taps the euro bond market for $9.5 billion.

  The drinks behemoth completed the largest euro-bond sale ever by a US company, as borrowing costs in Europe, and the cost of swapping euros to dollars, remain low. Investors in dollar bonds are currently seeking a 3% return, while euro-bond investors demand just 0.9%.
6 hours ago

Japanese inflation misses the mark.

  Consumer prices excluding fresh food rose 2.2% in January from a year earlier, below an expected 2.3% increase. Stripping out the effects of last year’s tax rise, prices rose just 0.2%, which could signal the need for further government stimulus measures this year.
6 hours ago
Chart of the Moment

Capitalism is much easier to love in emerging markets.

7 hours ago

Fitbit steps up its M&A activity.

  The activity tracker is considering a $25 million to $40 million purchase FitStar, which makes apps that encourage users to become more active, according to TechCrunch.

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